Saturday, December 04, 2004

Time to make the big tent bigger.

Before it slips down the memory hole, let's recall how John Kerry and John Edwards both made crass references to Mary Cheney's sexual orientation during the debates. And how, when confronted on it, the campaign said she was fair game. Recall also how Democrats made fun of Special Olympics kids. Then think about their racist abuse of Condoleeza Rice. Or their increasingly unveiled anti-Semitism. And earlier this week, Democrats began a whispering campaign suggesting that incoming RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman might be (gasp!) gay! (Y'know, because he's 38 years old and single.) I can't imagine what they must think of Condi Rice, who also happens to be single. Democrats already have two strikes against her for being black and Republican.

Now that Democrats are dropping the facade and revealing themselves as the bigots we always suspected they were, isn't there some way we can use this to bring even more people into the Big Tent? Particularly the very people the Democrats are insulting with the aforementioned behavior?

Now I know some people get nervous about making the big tent bigger. Does there come a point where inclusiveness results in watering down the message? I should think that as long as the party platform remains what it is, there isn't any danger.

Consider Gov. Schwarzenegger's speech at the RNC convention.
If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government. then you are a Republican! If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican! If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does, then you are a Republican! If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children, then you are a Republican! If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope of democracy in the world, then you are a Republican! And, ladies and gentlemen, if you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a Republican!

If we want to win in 2006 and 2008, we've got to begin today, taking the time and effort before the next campaigns get going to reach out to the Democrats' traditional allies. Democratic strategist Joe Trippi thinks the Democrats should move farther to the left. If they do, then Republicans have a golden opportunity to bring more centrist Democrats into the Big Tent. If we pull this off, the time the Democrats start campaigning again, they may find even fewer people listening to what they have to say.


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